Three candidates are competing in the Feb. 20 primary election for the Onalaska Common Council 2nd District seat that’s being vacated by incumbent Bob Muth.
Muth announced last year that he would not seek reelection. The candidates vying to replace him are Diane Wulf, Dan Stevens and Kevin Hintz.
Wulf served on the city council from 2003-2007 and again from 2012-2014. She went to high school in Thomson, Illinois, grew up on a dairy farm and previously worked as an executive secretary for the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
“Since 2000, I have served on a number of City of Onalaska committees, have volunteered in the Onalaska School District, and am the founding member of the Onalaska Schools’ Food Pantry,” she said in a statement.
She added that if elected she would bring years of experience in municipal government to the job.
“As a former six year Common Council member, one of my strengths was my ability to work closely with constituents,” Wulf said. “I educated constituents as to the process of what occurred when they came before a city meeting and what steps were involved until the final vote.”
Dan Stevens has never held public office before but did run for Dane County Board of Supervisors while a student at the University Wisconsin-Madison in the 1990’s. He lost that election to U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, the Democrat who now represents Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District.
Stevens is the president of Stonebridge Credit Inc, in Onalaska, has a degree in political science and described himself as an active Hilltopper Rotarian.
“Our city is well managed and I hope to help keep on its current path,” he said in a statement. “With at least a third and potentially half of the Council being new faces, I think I can provide the continuity needed to maintain our very good livability standards.”
In addition to Muth, 3rd District Alderperson Harvey Bertrand is not seeking reelection while in the 1st District Jim Olson is facing a challenge in the general election from Joe Etten. Candidates Kim Smith and Greg Luce will face off in the general election for the 3rd District seat.
The third candidate for the 2nd District primary is Kevin Hintz, who is a project manager with Johnson Controls and a graduate of Onalaska High School. He has a degree in business administration, management and information technology from Viterbo University.
“I wanted to run for Alderperson because I believe I can make a difference that the citizen taxpayers of Onalaska could benefit from,” Hintz said. “I believe it is the responsibility of elected officials to keep the city accountable to the tax payers and though many intentions of expenditures may be good that does not mean they are right.”
Hintz added that he wanted to see the council concentrate on what he sees as the city’s core responsibilities.
“The city should focus on streets, sewer and water, police and fire services,” he said. “I do not have a rubber stamp that I will be bringing with me to the council if I am elected. Convincing me to spend my neighbors money on items other than the core services like I listed would be a difficult task for sure.”
The primary election for the 2nd District is Tuesday, Feb. 20. In-office absentee voting for the primary election starts Monday, Feb. 2 and runs until Friday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Onalaska City Hall, 415 Main St.